Monday, March 30, 2009

Religion and Wealth Accumulation/Retention

Lisa Keister, from Ohio State University, examines the impact of religion on wealth accumulation and retention:

"Overall, the median net worth of Jewish people in the survey was $150,890, more than three times the median for the entire sample ($48,200). The median net worth for conservative Protestants (which included Baptists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, Christian Scientists, among others) was $26,200, or about half the overall average. The median net worth of mainstream Protestants (including Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Unitarians and others) and Catholics were similar to each other and about the average for the whole sample.

While some may say that the results confirm religious stereotypes, such as the contention that Jewish people are greedy and acquisitive, Keister strongly disagrees.

“What I’m finding is that families have a powerful influence on how people learn to save, and religion is often an important part of family life,” Keister said. “The things children are taught in Jewish homes are very different than those that are taught in conservative Protestant homes.”
link to article
link to study

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